1908-1914

Sibelius in 1911.


Axel Carpelan was friend and patron of Sibelius, from the turn of the century. He was also one of the first to speak for the "difficult" language of the Symphony no. 4. After Carpelan's death in 1919, Sibelius wrote in his diary: "For whom will I compose now?"


In 1914, Sibelius travelled to the USA to conduct the first performance of The Oceanides. During the same visit, he received an honorary doctorate from Yale University. The picture shows the artist S. Wetterhovi-Aspa's vision of Sibelius in the Yale doctoral robe. Sibelius himself thought that his friend's painting was "all wrong". The start of the first world war in 1914 forced Sibelius into giving up foreign concert performances; moreover, Germany, where his main publisher was, had become the enemy. During the war, to relieve his financial troubles, Sibelius composed and sold several small pieces to Helsinki publishers. Most of the pieces, nonetheless, were not published until after the war. Symphony no. 5 was completed in 1915, and revised in 1916 and 1919.



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